Johnny Hardwick, voice of Dale Gribble on ‘King of the Hill,’ dies at 64

Animated character Dale Gribble stands in front of a wooden fence in an orange cap and glasses
Johnny Hardwick, who voiced Dale Gribble on “King of the Hill,” has died at age 64.
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Johnny Hardwick, the voice actor, producer, writer and comedian best known for voicing Dale Gribble on the animated series “King of the Hill,” was found dead Tuesday in his home in Austin, Texas. He was 64.

Police found Hardwick deceased at his house after responding to an urgent welfare check, officials confirmed to The Times. No foul play is suspected, and his cause of death will be determined by Austin’s medical examiner’s office.

Hardwick voiced Gribble, a chain-smoking exterminator/bounty hunter with a strong Texas accent, throughout the Fox program’s original 13-year run from 1997 to 2010. He also was a writer, producer and story editor on the show.


Hardwick shared an Emmy for outstanding animated program in 1999, alongside show creators Mike Judge and Greg Daniels. He was nominated for the same award in 2001 and 2002.

“Johnny Hardwick was an incredibly beloved member of the ‘King of the Hill’ family, whose tremendous talent, brilliant humor and friendship will be deeply missed by all who were fortunate enough to work with him over the past 25 years,” 20th Television Animation and Hulu said in a statement to The Times.

“Our deepest condolences go out to his friends and family as we mourn the loss of one of the animation greats. His voice gave life to one of our most iconic characters, and he will be truly missed.”

Born John Michael Hardwick in Austin, the Emmy winner started as a stand-up comic in 1990, a decade after graduating from Texas Tech University. He was featured on “The Jon Stewart Show” and performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival. Hardwick was doing a gig at L.A.’s Laugh Factory when he was approached by Judge and Daniels, who were looking to cast him in their still-in-the-works show “King of the Hill.”

Outside of his most recognized role, Hardwick appeared on the reality shows “Ace of Cakes” in 2009 and “Boomer vs. Zoomer” in 2019. He also voiced Gribble in the 2000 “King of the Hill” PC game.

Hardwick was scheduled to reprise his role as Gribble in the Hulu revival of the Texas-based animated series, which was ordered by the streaming platform earlier this year.


The voice actor also ran a YouTube channel where he would perform covers of famous tunes in Gribble‘s voice.

Several of Hardwick’s “King of the Hill” castmates paid tribute to their co-star after hearing the news.

Pamela Adlon, who voiced Bobby Hill in the series, shared a photo of herself, Hardwick and a number of “King of the Hill” cast members on Instagram.

“Johnny was the most unique tender hearted dirty footed sneakily talented mercurial creature,” Adlon wrote. “The memories are deep and long. Sha sha! WINGO! RIP Johnny——you you left your buttprint!!”

“Johnny. God rest him,” wrote David Herman, who voiced various characters on the Emmy-winning program.

Breckin Meyer, who played Hardwick’s son, Joseph, tweeted an homage to his TV dad in an X post.


“Was lucky enough to have Johnny Hardwick as my pops Dale for almost a decade,” Meyer wrote. “He will be so damn missed! RIP.”